A massive four-day work week trial in the UK, which claims to be the world's largest of its kind involving 61 employers, found compelling evidence in favor of the practice, the Associated Press reports.
Key findings: working four days a week for the same pay is far better for employee health and stress levels — and can even benefit the companies financially. An astonishing 92 percent of companies said they would continue to have employees work four days.
The employers also didn't notice any changes in revenue during the trial period, which stretched from June to December last year. Some companies even noticed growth over the period.
It's a significant success story for the concept of the four-day work week, something that companies have been experimenting with for years across the world now.
In the states, the concept has also been championed by the likes of senator Bernie Sanders.
"With exploding technology and increased worker productivity, it's time to move toward a four-day work week with no loss of pay," Sanders tweeted this week. "Workers must benefit from technology, not just corporate CEOs."
The UK trial certainly seems to bolster that idea.
"We feel really encouraged by the results, which showed the many ways companies were turning the four-day week from a dream into a realistic policy, with multiple benefits," David Frayne, research associate at the University of Cambridge, who was involved with the trial, told the AP. "We think there is a lot here that ought to motivate other companies and industries to give it a try."
The trial, which was put together by the research organization Autonomy, researchers at Boston College, and nonprofit community 4 Day Week Global, investigated the effects of a shortened work week on 2,900 workers across 61 companies.
The results show a clear trend: 71 percent of workers said they were less burned out, 39 percent said they were less stressed, and a whopping 48 percent said they were more satisfied with their job.
Working four days also resulted in a much improved work-life balance and ability to take care of responsibilities at home. Sleep and mental health were also positively impacted.
Companies also noticed that employees were far less likely to quit their jobs.
But not every industry can afford to have employees work around the clock. Healthcare workers or first responders, for instance, won't likely see their work hours shortened any time soon.
The companies that were part of the trial were also relatively small, with 66 percent having 25 or fewer employees, meaning that the same change may be more difficult to implement for larger organizations.
There are clear societal benefits to the four-day work week, as evidenced by the trial. But making the change more widespread and permanent will likely require a fundamental shift in how we approach employment — particularly when it comes to American work culture.
READ MORE: 4-day workweek trial: Shorter hours, happier employees [The Associated Press]
More on the four-day work week: The Japanese Government Is Strongly Encouraging Four-Day Work Weeks
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